It was a total mismatch. Katten, armed with credible information, waited patiently as Ruiz spouted the party line:
"It's under-utilization that's driving it. We want to right-size the footprint. There's been a drop in the student population of Chicago of about 145,000 over the last decade."Then she turned on the lights:
"We assessed the utilization formula and found that it allows for overcrowding. You can have 36 kids in a classroom under this formula and still be deemed efficient. So it doesn't allow for space for things like music rooms, art rooms..."Ruiz: "Figures can be argued with ... so if we're off by a few percentage points, we still have a big problem that has to be dealt with."
Katten: "I just want to add that we have lost 30,000 children in the past decade. It's just wrong to keep using numbers [145,000] that mislead."
Off by a few percentage points, Jesse?? Uh uh. The difference between CPS losing 145,000 and 30,000? You're only off by about 80%. That's an F on the math section on any standardized test. Back to first grade.
BTW, despite having chaired ISBE, Ruiz is no educator. He's a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath's Corporate and Securities Group, specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Before that, he worked for the privatization firm of Booz Allen & Hamilton. His motives should be clear. He doesn't lack for information. He knows the figures as well as anyone. His spreading of disinformation is purposefully misleading.
Reason #897 for replacing mayoral control of the schools with an elected school board.